This page will briefly discuss the development workflow for developing Open Web Apps. For a description of what Open Web Apps are, see the wiki page. Much of this document is derived from the Developing an HTML+JS Open Web App Quickly wiki page.
1. Setup OpenMRS
In order to develop Open Web Apps, you will need an OpenMRS server running locally. The ways to do this are described below.
The quickest and easiest way to set up a server locally is to download the latest standalone server from the OpenMRS downloads page. You will need Java 1.7+ to run the standalone server. Once it's downloaded, extract the ZIP archive and run the
jar file either by double clicking it or executing the following command:
The first time you run the server you will be asked if you want to insert dummy data into the system. This is recommended if you want some data to play with.
Another easy way to run an OpenMRS server is to use the OpenMRS SDK. To use this method you must have Java 1.7+ and Maven 3+ installed. To install and configure the OpenMRS SDK, run the following:
To create a new OpenMRS Platform server, run the following:
Finally, navigate to the server directory (probably
~/openmrs/platform) and run:
It is also possible to run a Reference Application server using the SDK. See the SDK docs for instructions on how to do this.
The enterprise install is usually meant for production environments, and involves installing MySQL and Tomcat manually, then downloading the OpenMRS Platform WAR file from the OpenMRS downloads page and deploying it to Tomcat. See the full documentation here.
To set up and instance of the OpenMRS Platform using Docker, follow the instructions in the README file in this repository. To support rapid local deploys, you'll need to make the following change to your
This will create an
owadata directory at
/host/location/of/ on your Docker host and map that to the Open Web Apps data directory in the container. Once you've scaffolded your app (see section #3 below), edit the
LOCAL_OWA_FOLDER variable in
gulpfile.js to point to this directory in order to support local deploys.
2. Install the Open Web Apps module
This is described on the Open Web Apps Module page. It's the same as installing any other other module
3. Scaffold Your Open Web App
Once you have NodeJS installed, you need to install Yeoman, as follows:
You can then install the generator:
Next, create a directory for your Open Web App and change into it. Then run the following to scaffold your app:
This will start up the Yeoman generator. The output should be something like:
Follow the options in the Yeoman generator in order to scaffold the app. Depending on your setup options it might look something like this when you are done:
Congratulations you have successfully scaffolded your app!
All the Open Web App files are in the
app directory, everything else is used for building and managing packages. Any files you add manually must be added in the
app/manifest.webapp files contains the information that OpenMRS needs to host your app. See the Open Web Apps Module documentation for details. The
launch_path property contains the path to your app entry point. This is the page that will be loaded when you click on your app in OpenMRS.
Building The App
To build and package your app in a distributable file, use npm Webpack.
This creates a zip file in the
app directory. You can then upload this to an OpenMRS implementation using the Open Web Apps Module.
To speed up the development workflow, we can deploy directly to the app data directory on the filesystem, again using using npm Webpack:
The app should now show up in your OpenMRS implementation (Administration -> Open Web Apps Module -> Manage Apps) and will look something like this:
If you have issues using Webpack to deploy the app, ensure that the deploy directory is correct. Open the
config.json file in the apps directory and make sure that
LOCAL_OWA_FOLDER points to the correct directory. For example:
npm can use Browsersync to watch the files as you development and dynamically reload the app as you make changes to the code. Each time you save a file in the app's directory, the app will reload and display in the browser. This is an extremely useful tool. To use browsersync run the following command in your app's directory:
If you have issues getting browsersync to work, ensure that the app is being injected. Open the
config.json file in the
app directory and make sure that
APP_ENTRY_POINT points to the correct path. Your
config.json file should look
5. Add Home Screen Link
Since you've built a standalone app, you want to let people access it from the OpenMRS home screen. In the Standalone or the Reference Application, you can do this by going to System Administration -> Manage Apps -> Add App Definition and then adding a definition like:
You can see the available icons at http://demo.openmrs.org/openmrs/uicommons/icons.page.
- Open Web Apps Module
- Developing an HTML+JS Open Web App Quickly
- Screencast - OpenMRS OWA Web Apps Development Workflow
- Screencast - OpenMRS Open Web App (OWA) Development Tutorial (consistent with newer workflow)